PRESS RELEASE | Free ASSURE-100 Rapid Tests for Kūpuna and At-Risk Hawai’i Residents as Federal Support Ends
Honolulu, HI April 26, 2023 | On May 11th, 2023 the U.S. federal government will officially end the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (“PHE”) that began three years ago. This means that free Covid-19 tests covered by the PHE and Federal government will stop being provided for those at a high risk of contracting the disease.
Since early 2021 under the Public Health Emergency, the federal government has required all private insurers to cover costs for up to eight Covid-19 tests per month for households. Similarly, the federal government’s Medicare program offered free at-home tests for tens of millions of seniors across the country. On May 11th, support for free Covid-19 tests will stop when the Biden administration officially ends the Public Health Emergency. However, According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, there are still more than 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 recorded every week.
In Hawaii, our Kūpuna, those 65+ years and older – and individuals who are at an elevated risk for health complications – are the ones most impacted by the elimination of free tests. Research shows that early detection of a Covid infection, along with treatment by antiviral drugs like Paxlovid, is highly effective at limiting the severity of cases, reducing hospital ICU visits, and preventing deaths.
A two-pack of Covid-19 rapid tests typically costs between $20 – $24, a significant cost that many may struggle to cover. For a limited time, Oceanit is giving away free packs of the ASSURE-100 Rapid Covid-19 Tests to Hawai’i residents who are most at risk: Kūpuna, 65+ years and older, and individuals who are at-risk for health complications. ASSURE-100 was developed in Hawai’i by Oceanit Laboratories and received an FDA EUA for at-home use in December, 2022.
Please click the link on our homepage to register for a free pack of ASSURE-100 tests to be delivered to you, or your loved ones.